Banner
   

PDF Pages Are Blank inside Web Browser Window

If your Adobe Acrobat viewer doesn't display PDF files inside your Web browser window, please hit the "reload" or "refresh" button in your browser, or try one or more of the following solutions suggested by Adobe Corp. You also may wish to visit Adobe's support center to troubleshoot other issues or problems you may experience when attempting to view pdf files.

Solution 1
Make sure that the Acrobat viewer can read the PDF file by downloading it to your hard disk and then viewing it in the browser:

In Netscape Navigator 3.x or later:
1. Right-click (Windows) or hold down the mouse button (Mac OS) on the link to the PDF file, then choose Save Link As from the pop-up menu.
2. In the Save As dialog box, specify a name and location for the PDF file, and then click Save.
3. Choose one of the following options to open the PDF file:
- In Navigator 3.x for Windows or Mac OS, choose File > Open File.
- In Navigator 4.x for Windows, choose File > Open Page, and then click Choose File.
- In Navigator 4.x for Mac OS, choose File > Open > Page in Navigator.
4. If you're using Navigator for Windows, choose either All Files or Acrobat files from the Files Of Type pop-up menu.
5. Select the PDF file you saved in step 2 and click Open. The Acrobat viewer should open the PDF file inside the browser window.

In Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or later:
1. Right-click (Windows) or hold down the mouse button (Mac OS) on the link to the PDF file, and then choose Save Link As (Internet Explorer 3.x) or Save Target As (Internet Explorer 4.x or 5.0) from the pop-up menu.
2. In the Save As dialog box, specify a name and location for the PDF file, and then click Save.
3. Choose File > Open and click Browse.
4. Choose All Files from the Files Of Type pop-up menu.
5. Select the PDF file you saved in step 2 and click Open. The Acrobat viewer should open the PDF file inside the browser window.

Note: If the viewer displays only a blank screen or returns an error after you've downloaded a PDF file to your hard disk, the viewer or the PDF file may be damaged. Exit the browser, restart the viewer, and try to open an Acrobat Online Guide from the viewer's Help menu. If the viewer can't display an online guide, the viewer itself may be damaged and you should contact Acrobat Technical Support. If the viewer correctly displays the online guide, try opening the PDF file you downloaded. If the viewer can display the downloaded PDF file, the PDF file isn't damaged; rather, your browser isn't working with the Acrobat plug-in. If the viewer still displays only a blank screen or returns an error, the PDF file is probably damaged.

Solution 2
Make sure that the browser is configured to work with the Acrobat plug-in by doing one or more of the following:
-- Make sure that your browser is configured to use the Acrobat plug-in:
- For instructions on configuring Navigator for Windows, click here.
- For instructions on configuring Internet Explorer for Windows, click here.

-- If you're using Internet Explorer 5.0, make sure that its security options recognize the Acrobat Control:

Note: This procedure changes Internet Explorer's security options for all ActiveX Controls. If you prefer to use stricter security, do not complete these steps.

1. Exit from Internet Explorer 5.0 and your Acrobat viewer.
2. Start Internet Explorer 5.0.
3. Choose Tools > Internet Options and click the Security tab.
4. Choose the appropriate Web content zone for the type of PDF file you're trying to open (e.g. Internet or Local Intranet).
5. Click Custom Level to specify the security setting for this zone.
6. Select Enable for the options labeled "Download unsigned ActiveX controls" and "Initialize and script ActiveX Controls not marked as safe."
7. Click OK and then click OK again.

-- If you're using a browser in Windows NT 3.51, specify the temp folder as a folder on the startup disk (i.e., the hard disk from which Windows NT loads):
1. Open the System Control Panel.
2. In the User Environment Variables section, select the current temp folder (e.g., "temp=c:\temp") and click Delete.
3. Type "temp" in the Variable text box.
4. In the Value text box, type the path to a folder on a disk with plenty of free space (e.g., 100 MB or more).
5. Click Set and then click OK.
6. Log out of Windows NT and then log back in.

-- If you're using Internet Explorer 3.0, make sure that the ratings security setting is disabled:

In Internet Explorer for Windows:
1. Choose View > Options and click the Security tab.
2. In the Options dialog box, do one of the following:
- If the Enable Ratings button is available, click Cancel. (The Enable Ratings button is available only when ratings are disabled.)
- If the Disable Ratings button is available, click it, enter your supervisor password when prompted, and click OK.

In Internet Explorer for Mac OS:
1. Choose Edit > Preferences.
2. Click Ratings and then click Options.
3. Select the option labeled "User Can See Sites That Have No Rating," and click OK. Contact Microsoft for more information on which security settings affect Internet Explorer's ability to download files.

-- If you're using Internet Explorer 3.0, clear its cache. The cache may contain an old or damaged copy of the PDF file you're trying to view.

To clear the cache in Internet Explorer for Windows:
1. Choose View > Options and click the Advanced tab.
2. Click Settings and then click Empty Folder.
3. Click Yes when you receive the message, "Delete all files in the Temporary Internet Files folder?"
4. Click OK to close the Settings dialog box and then click OK to close the Options dialog box.
5. Choose View > Refresh to redraw Internet Explorer's window.

To clear the cache in Internet Explorer for Mac OS:
1. Choose Edit > Options and click Advanced.
2. Click Empty and click OK.
3. Choose View > Refresh to redraw Internet Explorer's window.

-- Make sure that you're looking at the browser window and not the Acrobat viewer window. The viewer runs in the background when you're viewing a PDF file in a browser window, and the viewer's window may not display the PDF file. If the browser window is inactive, activate it to view the PDF file.

Solution 3
Try viewing a PDF file from a different Web server. To determine if there's problem with the server to which you're connecting, try to open a PDF file from Adobe's Web site at www.adobe.com. Adobe's Web server is configured to let your browser connect to PDF files. If the Acrobat viewer can display PDF files from Adobe's Web site, but not from another site, the other site's server may not be configured correctly (e.g., it uses server software that doesn't support byteserving). Contact that server's webmaster for assistance.

Solution 4
If you're using Acrobat Exchange 3.0x or Acrobat 4.0, optimize the PDF file:
1. Open the file in Acrobat Exchange or Acrobat 4.0.
2. Choose File > Save As.
3. Select Optimize and click OK.
4. Click Yes when Acrobat Exchange or Acrobat asks if you want to replace the existing file.

Solution 5
If you're using Internet Explorer 4.x and an Acrobat 3.0x viewer, install the updated Adobe Acrobat Control for ActiveX. You can download the control from
- www.adobe.com/support/downloads/4c3a.htm
- ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobatexchange/win/3.x/updaters/ocxinst.exe
- ftp://ftp-pac.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobatexchange/win/3.x/updaters/ocxinst.exe
- ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobatreader/win/3.x/updaters/ocxinst.exe
- ftp://ftp-pac.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobatreader/win/3.x/updaters/ocxinst.exe
- www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html

To install the control:
1. Exit from all applications.
2. Double-click the Ocxinst.exe file.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

For details on configuring Internet Explorer to display PDF Files within the browser window or as a helper application, see document 315029.

Solution 6
If you're using Internet Explorer 3.0 or later and the PDF file you're trying to view is loaded automatically by an Active Server Page (*.asp), do one of the following:
- View the PDF file in Navigator.
- Ask the creator of the *.asp page to reconfigure the page so it loads a page with a link to the PDF file, rather than loading the PDF file.

Solution 7
If you're clicking a link from an HTML page in Internet Explorer, ask the page's creator to modify the link so that the path to the PDF file contains fewer characters (e.g., 256 or fewer) and then reupload the page. You should then click Refresh in Internet Explorer to reload the page.

Note: The maximum number of characters the path to the PDF file can contain depends on factors such as the browser you're using, the type of Web server the file is stored on, and the type of HTML command the link uses. The page's creator may need to create paths with fewer characters (e.g., 175 or fewer) to accommodate all of these factors.

Solution 8
If you're clicking a Weblink that opens a PDF file, ask the PDF file's creator to modify the Weblink so that the path to the PDF file contains 256 or fewer characters and provide you with a new copy of the PDF file.

Note: The maximum number of characters the path to the PDF file can contain depends on factors such as the browser you're using, the type of Web server the file is stored on, and the type of HTML command the link uses. The page's creator may need to create paths with fewer characters (e.g., 175 or fewer) to accommodate all of these factors.

Solution 9
Update to version 4.05 of an Acrobat viewer (i.e., Acrobat, Acrobat Business Tools, or Acrobat Reader). You can download Acrobat Reader 4.05 from Adobe's Web site at www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html; or, Adobe automatically ships Acrobat 4.05 free of charge to registered Acrobat 4.0 users. If you have not yet registered Acrobat 4.0, or if you need Acrobat 4.05 sent to an address other than the one you used to register Acrobat 4.0, you can order Acrobat 4.05 from Adobe Customer Services at 800-272-3623. Note that if you order Acrobat 4.05 apart from the free shipment, you must provide proof of ownership and pay shipping charges

If the problem persists after updating to version 4.05, install the Acrobat 4.05 Update 1, available from Adobe's Web site at www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html.

Additional Information

An Acrobat viewer may be unable to display PDF files inside a compatible browser window when it can't read the PDF file, when the browser isn't working correctly with the Acrobat plug-in, or when the Web server on which the PDF file is stored can't download the PDF file. Acrobat 3.0x viewers are compatible with Internet Explorer 3.0x and 4.x, Navigator 3.x and 4.x, and AOL 3.x and 4.x. Acrobat 4.0 viewers are compatible with Internet Explorer 3.x, 4.x, and 5.x, Navigator 3.x and 4.x, and AOL 3.x and 4.x.

If the server to which you're connecting uses Apache server software, Adobe recommends the server's Webmaster use Apache 1.2.1 or later, since previous versions didn't support byte-serving of PDF files. Byteserving is the process of downloading a file a page at a time, so you can view the beginning of a file while the rest of it downloads in the background. If the server uses a version of Apache server software earlier than 1.2.1 and the Webmaster doesn't want to update, the Webmaster can run a CGI script to enable byteserving. Contact Apache for more information about CGI scripting. For more information about byte-serving, visit Adobe's Web site at www.adobe.com/support/techguides/acrobat/byteserve/byteservmain.html.

If the server to which you're connecting uses Microsoft Information Internet Server, contact Microsoft for information on which versions support byte-serving.

If the PDF file was uploaded to the server using Fetch 3.0.1 FTP software, the PDF file may be damaged and the Acrobat viewer may be unable to display it. To avoid this problem, the Webmaster should upload PDF files to the server manually.

If the PDF file has a large file size (i.e., 4 MB or larger), your viewer may be unable to display it, or the Web browser will time out before it finishes downloading the file. To reduce the PDF file's size, you can optimize it in Acrobat Exchange or Acrobat 4.0. For more information on file optimization, refer to the Acrobat Online Guide.

An *.asp page that redirects the browser to a PDF file may not work in Internet Explorer 3.0 or later, particularly for slower Internet connections (e.g., those via a modem).

Internet Explorer cannot display a PDF file if the path to the file is longer than 256 characters. A Weblink that opens a PDF file won't work if the path to the PDF file is longer than 256 characters.

Both the Acrobat 4.05 Update and the Acrobat 4.05 Update 1 enhance browser integration in Acrobat.